Installing BOINC on Ubuntu


Basic installation

To install BOINC on Debian-based systems such as Ubuntu, type:

sudo apt install boinc-client boinc-manager

This will arrange for the BOINC client to run at boot time, and will put a BOINC Manager icon on the applications menu.

If you are familiar with the Synaptic package management system you may use that instead.

Alternatively, you can get packages (possibly more recent) from the following "personal package archive" (PPA):

Non-graphical installation

If you have a "headless" computer with no graphics then you do not need the BOINC Manager. In this case just install the client by itself, with the command

sudo apt install boinc-client 

See also the page Stop or start BOINC daemon after boot for helpful commands for controlling the client.

Starting BOINC

After the installation is finished, the client is started automatically. You can then start the BOINC Manager from the pull-down menu Applications -> System Tools -> BOINC Manager. The first time you do this you will be prompted to attach to a BOINC project.

After the installation is finished the client is configured to start up automatically every time the computer is turned on. You can temporarily disable or re-enable this by modifying a setting in the file /etc/default/boinc-client:

# Set this to 1 to enable and to 0 to disable the init script.

What the installer does

  1. Puts the BOINC binaries (boinc, boinccmd and boincmgr) in /usr/bin .
  2. Creates a configuration directory /etc/boinc-client containing files cc_config.xml, global_prefs_override.xml, gui_rpc_auth.cfg, and remote_hosts.cfg (It is a Debian convention that such files live under /etc)
  3. Creates the working directory /var/lib/boinc-client/ for BOINC data files and the slots and projects directories. Also creates links from this directory to the files in /etc/boinc-client
  4. Creates a user named boinc. For improved security, this boinc user owns the BOINC working directory and all the data files and sub-directories created under the working directory.
  5. Creates the client "init" script, /etc/init.d/boinc-client, and a set of configuration options for the client at /etc/default/boinc-client
  6. Sets up the client to start at boot time.

For more information about configuring BOINC in Linux, see Linux file permissions


To remove BOINC from the computer you can use the apt command to remove the packages you installed earlier. The command is:

sudo apt remove boinc-manager boinc-client

Removing the BOINC Manager may also remove other packages if they are no longer used, such as libwxbase and libwxgtk.

The "remove" command only removes executable files and turns off the client, but it does not remove configuration files or the working directory. This means that if you re-install BOINC later you will have the previous configuration. To completely remove BOINC from your system use the "purge" command instead:

sudo apt purge boinc-manager boinc-client

You will be prompted to confirm this action before it is actually carried out.

Again, if you are familiar with the Synaptic package management system you can use that instead of apt to either remove or purge these packages.